NI Grammar School Admission criteria for
September 2022
These details have been updated.

Admission criteria for grammar schools in Northern Ireland for entrance in September 2022 have changed.

In the autumn term of 2021-2022 school year the Transfer Test - either the AQE or GL (PPTC) version has was used as part of the admissions policy for entry into year 8 by many schools. However some schools decided not to use either the AQE or GL (PPTC) Transfer Test and so those schools have developed new admission criteria for entry into Year 8 in September 2022.

 
These Grammar School admission criteria can vary greatly from school to school and you should make yourself aware of all the criteria details as they will determine which children will be admitted to this school in September 2022.
 
Make sure that you provide the school with all the information that they require as the school will use the information that you provide when making their decision about which children are admitted in September 2022.
 

Carrickfergus Grammar School

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CARRICKFERGUS GRAMMAR SCHOOL

120 North Road

Carrickfergus BT38 7RA

Telephone: 028 9336 3615

Fax: 028 9336 4270

E-Mail: info@carrickfergusgrammar.carrickfergus.ni.sch.uk

Website: www.carrickfergusgrammar.com


Headmaster: Mr J. A. Maxwell BA (Hons) PGCE MSc PQH (NI)

Chairperson of the Board of Governors: Mr M Smith BSc MBA CEng MIET


Controlled Grammar School   (Non-denominational)    Est 1962

Age Range of pupils:     11-18

Admissions Number:     116

Enrolment Number:     800



An Open Night for pupils of P7 and their parents will be held virtually

An interactive video, prospectus and brochure will be placed on our school website



To parents/guardians naming Carrickfergus Grammar School (herein referred to as ‘the School’) as a preference on your child’s Transfer Application


Entrance Assessment Results

Please ensure that you enter the score awarded by the Association for Quality Education together with the AQE Candidate Number on the Transfer Application and please note it is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that the original Statement of Result received from AQE indicating their child’s AQE CEA score is uploaded with the Transfer Application.


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions

If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provisions, please read carefully the information given in the relevant section. Please note that you are required to upload with the Transfer Application all such material as you consider will assist the Sub-Committee in determining if Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions apply.


Claims for consideration for a child under Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions will be examined and decided upon before the application of any of the Admissions Criteria.


Parents/Carers who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions should complete Form SC22 obtainable from AQE or the School and upload it with appropriate documentation described in section 2.


Respective functions of the Board of Governors and Principal in relation to Admissions to the school

Carrickfergus Grammar School is a co-educational, non-denominational controlled grammar school. The Board of Governors of Carrickfergus Grammar School has approved the criteria for admission described below, and have delegated to an Admissions Sub-Committee and the Principal the responsibility of applying its admissions criteria to identify which children are to be admitted to Carrickfergus Grammar School. This includes decisions in respect of Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions.


1. ADMISSION CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS TO YEAR 8 IN SEPTEMBER 2022

The Board of Governors will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the school by the applicant on the Transfer Form; for example a child who has chosen Carrickfergus Grammar School as a second or subsequent preference school will be considered in the same manner as a child who has chosen the school as his or her first preference.


When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on or uploaded with the Transfer Application, including the score provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) as a result of the child’s performance in the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) (or awarded as a result of consideration of Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions). It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the School’s admissions criteria, as outlined below, is stated on or uploaded with the Transfer Application. Parents/Guardians should note that they may be required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s admissions criteria.


If the number of applications is greater than the Admissions Number determined by the Department of Education, the following criteria (to include sub-criteria) shall be applied in the order listed below until the point where the admissions number is reached.


If there are fewer applicants complying with a particular criterion or sub-criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will be admitted and the next criterion or sub-criterion will be applied to the remaining applicants;


If there are more applicants complying with a particular criterion or sub-criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will go forward to be considered under the next criterion or sub-criterion and those not complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will be eliminated.


1.1 Children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission will be selected for admission to the School before any child not so resident.

The child’s Birth Certificate and proof of address should be uploaded with the Transfer Application. Proof of address – any TWO of the following documents with sensitive information redacted: Bank/building society statement; Utility bill (e.g. electricity, gas, TV licence, telephone); Addressed payslip; Letter awarding Child Benefit to the child or another letter relating to this benefit; Mortgage statement; Land and Property Services Rates Demand; Financial statement such as ISA, Pension or Endowment; Current Driving licence; Rental agreement.


1.2 The Board of Governors will consider children who have taken the Common Entrance Assessment (“CEA”) administered by the Association for Quality Education (“AQE”). The Board of Governors will use the ‘score’ as awarded by AQE to a pupil in the CEA, subject only to the consideration of parent/guardian(s) claiming ‘Special Circumstances’ or ‘Special Provisions’ as defined below. Places will be allocated in strict rank order of the scores, starting with the highest score and working in descending rank order, up to the Admissions Number (116). The score in the AQE CEA should be entered, along with the AQE Candidate Number, on the Transfer Application.

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that the original Statement of Result received from AQE indicating their child’s AQE CEA score is uploaded with the Transfer Application.


1.3 Places will then be allocated using the following sub-criteria, in the order listed:


I. Children who, at the date of their application, have another child of the family 1currently enrolled at the school [state name(s) and Registration Group(s) on the Transfer Application];

II. Children who are the eldest eligible child 2or only child of the family1 to be eligible to be accepted for enrolment in the School in September 2022. Proof of eldest child should be uploaded with the Transfer Application – a letter on headed note paper, stating that the child is the eldest eligible child and that the family is known to the verifier, from one of the following who is not a family member of the applicant: a Primary School Principal, a medical practitioner, a solicitor, an elected public representative, a member of the clergy or a police officer.

III. Children attending one of the School’s contributory Primary Schools as defined overleaf or attending another school which is closer as the crow flies3 than any of the School’s contributory Primary Schools;

IV. Children will be selected for admission on the basis of a random selection process. Each application to be considered at this stage will be allocated a random number electronically generated within “Microsoft Excel”; the applications will then be ranked in numerical order, with higher numbers having preference over lower numbers.


1 Child of the family covers: a child born to a married couple or to a couple in a civil partnership; a child born to a co-habiting couple; a child born to a single parent; a child of either/any of those people by a previous marriage, civil partnership or relationship; a child living with a couple who has been treated as a “child of the family” whether there is a marriage or a civil partnership or not; a child living with an individual, who has been treated as a “child of the family”; an adopted or fostered child; a situation where for example an orphaned cousin is being brought up with a family or individual.

2 ‘Eldest eligible child of the family’ includes applicants who, although not chronologically the eldest in the family, are to be treated as the ‘eldest eligible child of the family’ in the following circumstances: where the applicant is more than seven years younger (by birth date) than the next eldest sibling; where the applicant is the eldest child of a reconstituted family; where the applicant is the first in the family to transfer to a mainstream post primary school in Northern Ireland due to an elder sibling being statemented or attending a special school; where a family has relocated to Northern Ireland.

3 as measured using the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) online Distance Measuring Tool, using 6-figure northings and eastings grid references to identify distance from the front gates of Carrickfergus Grammar School to individual schools.



The School’s contributory Primary Schools are:

Abbots Cross

Acorn

Ashgrove

Ballycarry

Carnmoney

Carrickfergus Central Integrated

Carrickfergus Model

Earlview

Eden

Glengormley Integrated

Greenisland

Islandmagee

King’s Park

Mossley

Oakfield

Silverstream

St Nicholas

Straid

Sunnylands

Victoria

Whiteabbey

Whitehead

Whitehouse

Woodburn

Woodlawn


If there are still places available after consideration of all the children who have taken the AQE Common Entrance Assessment and been awarded a score by AQE (or a score determined by the Admissions Sub-Committee in accordance with the arrangements for Special Circumstances and Special Provisions as set out below), the School will consider for admission any children who have not taken the AQE CEA. Such children, if they satisfy Criterion 1.1, will be allocated to the remaining place(s) up to the School’s Admissions Number using the sub-criteria listed in section 1.3 in the order set out.


2. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES and SPECIAL PROVISIONS

General

The purpose of a claim for special circumstances and/or special provisions is so that a child can be assigned a score equivalent to that which he or she would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions. Consideration of a claim for special circumstances and/or special provisions consists of two parts: the first requires the consideration of whether there is sufficient material to permit a child to be considered as having special circumstances or attracting special provisions, or both; if a child is permitted to be considered as having special circumstances or as attracting special provisions or both, the second part of the consideration requires an educational judgement to be made on the totality of the material presented to the Admissions Sub-Committee so that a score equivalent to that which the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions can be awarded.


Please note, parents/guardians are required to upload with the Transfer Application all such material that will assist the Admissions Sub-Committee in performing both parts of the consideration described above. It should be noted by parents/guardians that both parts of the consideration referred to involve an exercise in educational judgement and not precise calculation.


Educational Evidence to be provided in support of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions


In reaching the educational judgement needed to award the score that the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal circumstances, the Admissions Sub-Committee will consider any material uploaded with the Transfer Application by the parents/guardians. This material should include all of the following:

i) The score awarded by AQE in the CEA (if the child sits two or three AQE CEAs) or the ‘raw score’ provided by AQE (if the child only sits one of the AQE CEAs, due to the child’s illness, the child’s need to self-isolate or other unforeseen circumstances);

ii) The results for the child of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics conducted in Year 5 and Year 6;

iii) Comparative information from the Primary School, including the results, without names, for other children in the child’s Year 7 class of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics conducted in Year 5 and Year 6 and, where available, the respective AQE CEA score awarded;

iv) Any other relevant material.


Special Circumstances

Carrickfergus Grammar School has academic performance in the AQE CEA as its criteria, subject only to the consideration of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the CEA and which are supported by documentary evidence of a medical or other appropriate nature. These ‘medical or other problems’ are commonly referred to as ‘special circumstances’.


Please note that if a claim for the consideration of Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Special Access arrangements were granted for a child, the Admissions Sub-Committee will take into account the fact that the child was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances should complete Form SC22, obtainable from the School or AQE, stating the precise reason why they believe the child should be considered for Special Circumstances. The SC22 form and appropriate documentary evidence should be uploaded with the Transfer Application


The Admissions Sub-Committee will consider each application for Special Circumstances. Where a Special Circumstances claim is upheld the Admissions Sub-Committee will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate AQE CEA score for the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received an AQE CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.


Details of Medical or Other Problems

Where it is claimed that a child’s performance in the AQE CEA has been affected by a medical or other problem, it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to set out in the Form SC22 precise details of the problem and upload with the Transfer Application the evidence to corroborate its existence.


Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration (other than COVID-19) which affected the child only at the time of the AQE CEA, parents/guardians should be aware that the Admissions Sub-Committee will attach greater weight to evidence indicating that the child was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the assessments. For children who have tested positive for COVID-19, documentary evidence such as a positive PCR test result should be included, where available.


Where the problem is of a non-medical nature the parents/guardians should set out in the Form SC22 precise details of the problem and upload appropriate documentary evidence with the Transfer Application.


Special Provisions

Special provisions will apply for:

(a) children whose parents/guardians wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland;

(b) children who have received more than half their primary education outside Northern Ireland;

(c) children entered for the AQE CEA, who because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems (including absence for all three CEAs due to the child having COVID-19 or the need for the child to self-isolate for all three CEAs due to COVID-19) which are supported by appropriate independent documentary evidence, were unable to participate in any of the assessments.

(d) religious observance whereby faith precludes from sitting tests on the designated CEA days.


Note: It is expected that all those seeking admission should sit the AQE CEA, with the exception of those children who take up residence in Northern Ireland after Friday 24 September 2021.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should contact the School as soon as possible. In addition, they should complete Form SC22, obtainable from the School or AQE, stating the precise reason why they believe the child is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and upload appropriate documentary evidence with the Transfer Application.


The Admissions Sub-Committee will consider each application for Special Provisions. Where Special Provisions are accepted, the Admissions Sub-Committee will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate AQE CEA score for the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received an AQE CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.


3. NOTE TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that the Transfer Application is completed in full and that all relevant information is uploaded with the Transfer Application.


If the Board of Governors becomes aware of any irregularity in the details uploaded or included on the Transfer Application, it reserves the right to reject the application made on behalf of the child for admission to the School.


4. DUTY TO VERIFY - THE VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION PROVIDED

Parents/Guardians should note that the information contained on the Transfer Application that qualifies the child for admission may be verified.

The Board of Governors therefore reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on the Transfer Application.

This information will be requested from those whose applications have been successful at the time they have been notified of their allocation of a place at Carrickfergus Grammar School.

Parents/Guardians should also note if the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place. Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.


5. ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8 FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE TRANSFER PROCESS

Carrickfergus Grammar School operates a separate waiting list for Year 8. All applications for admission to Year 8 that were unsuccessful in obtaining a place in the school will be automatically added to the waiting list. New applications and applications where new information has been provided will also be added to the waiting list. The Year 8 waiting list will be in place until 30 June 2023. Please contact the School if you wish your child’s name to be removed from the list. Should a vacancy arise after the completion of the Transfer Procedure and should there be more applications than places available, the procedure outlined above in the Admissions Criteria for entry of children to Year 8 will be followed. The School will contact you in writing if your child gains a place in the School by this method.


Should the Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors determine that a child, who has arrived in Northern Ireland after the Transfer Process has been concluded, is suitable for admission, it will seek approval from the Department of Education to admit the child through the allocation of an additional place.


Year 8 Applications and Admissions




Year    2019-2020

Admissions No.    116

Total Applications All Preferences    149

Total Admissions    118


Year    2020-2021

Admissions No.    116

Total Applications All Preferences    142

Total Admissions    117


Year    2021-2022

Admissions No.    116

Total Applications All Preferences    230

Total Admissions    116


This table does not include children who were admitted to the school with a statement of special educational needs.


6. ADMISSIONS TO YEARS 9-11

Admission will only be considered if there are vacant places in the Year Group, if the school’s overall enrolment number is not exceeded and if admission would not prejudice the efficient use of the school’s resources.

If the number of applications is greater than the school’s Admissions Number, the following conditions shall be applied progressively in the order set out below:


• Children will be placed in rank order of their aggregate score in tests which will be set by the Board of Governors of this school incorporating English and Mathematics;

• If children are tied on the same aggregate score then pupils shall be selected by the application of Criteria as set out in the current Transfer Booklet until the school’s admissions number has been reached.


Applicants will then be interviewed as part of the application process and this interview will form part of the selection process.


School reserves the right at discretion not to award a place to an applicant if the academic reports and / or behavioural information from the applicant’s previous school are not satisfactory.


The parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil themselves must also commit to abiding by the protocols, high standards of behaviour and school routines as have been adopted by all pupils and their parents/guardians who are currently enrolled in the school.

** This information is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your LA or chosen grammar school for all admission and Transfer Test queries.**